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Fried Foods – Definition, Why are Bad for Your Health, and More

Fried Foods Definition

Fried foods are a widespread method throughout the world. Many restaurants and fast-food chains use this way of preparing food.

Among the foods that most cook this way, there is fish, French fries, chicken fingers and cheese churros, although the list is endless.

Commonly, we all like the taste of fried foods. But what many people don’t know is that these foods are high in calories and trans fat. So the abuse of these foods can have adverse health effects.

In this article, we will explain why fried foods and fast foods are bad for your health. We will also offer you other healthy alternatives that you should consider.

Why Fried Foods High in

fried foods

1. Calories

  • Compared to another way of cooking food, frying it adds much more calories. Fried foods almost always coated with a mixture of flour and egg.
  • Also, when foods fried in oil, they lose nutrients, water and absorb fat. It usually increases its calorie content even more.
  • Generally speaking, fried foods are higher in fat and calories than foods that prepare in another way.
  • For example, a 100 gram baked potato contains 93 calories and 0 grams of fat. While the same 100-gram potato, cooked fried contains 319 calories and 17 grams of fat. As you can see, the difference is very high.
  • Another example is the preparation of a 100-gram fillet of cod in the oven. This cooked one contains 105 calories and 1 gram of fat.
  • At the same time, the same serving of fried fish will have 232 calories and 12 grams of fat. As can be seen, calories increase fast when eating fried foods.
  • These examples show us that fried foods contain more calories and fat than their non-fried counterparts.

2. Trans Fat

  • These types of fats form when unsaturated fats go through a process called hydrogenation.
  • Food manufacturers generally hydrate unsaturated fats using high pressure and hydrogen gas, all to increase food stability and shelf life.
  • But hydrogenation also occurs when we fry food, as the oils are heated to high temperatures when we fry.
  • These processes change the chemical structure of fats, which causes decomposition in the body, generating adverse health effects.
  • Trans fats have associated with an increased risk of disease. These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
  • Since foods that cook deep-fried reach very high temperatures, they most likely contain trans fats.
  • Many vegetable or seed oils are the alternatives that many uses to fry foods, thinking they are healthy. But these types of oils can have trans fats before the food preparation process.
  • Soybean and canola oils found that their fatty acid content had between 0.6% and 4.2% trans fat.
  • It knows that when this type of oil is heated to high temperatures, for example, in fried foods, its content of trans fats can increase.
  • Every time oil reuse for frying, its trans fat content increases significantly. It is the technique that many fast food businesses use, all to save a few extra dollars, leaving aside the health of consumers.
  • Something fundamental is knowing how to distinguish between the trans fats produced by natural foods such as meat and dairy products, from those found in manufactured products.
  • In comparison, the same adverse effects have not yet been shown, like those found in fried and processed foods.

3. Acrylamide

  • Acrylamide is a toxic substance that can originate in food at high temperatures during the cooking process. Such as frying, baking or grilling food.
  • It forms by the chemical reaction between sugars and an amino acid called asparagine.
  • Starchy foods such as fried and baked potato products generally have higher concentrations of acrylamide.
  • It used very high doses of acrylamide, between 1,000 and 100,000 times the average amount that humans would expose to through a regular diet.
  • People have investigated the intake of acrylamide; the evidence found is mixed. Acrylamide in humans is not related to the risk of any common cancer.

What is the Effect of Eating Fried Foods?

fried foods

Generally speaking, increasing the consumption of fried foods is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

1. Heart Disease

  • Eating fried foods increases your risk for high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and obesity. All of these are risk factors for heart disease.
  • The observation of large population samples found that the more they consumed fried foods, the greater the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Women who ate one or more servings of fried fish per week were 48% more likely to develop heart failure, compared to those who consumed 1 to 3 servings in a month.
  • On the other hand, the increase in the consumption of grilled or sewn fish associate with a lower risk of suffering from heart disease.
  • Another a diet high in fried foods is directly associated with an increased risk of a heart attack. In contrast, a diet based on fruits and vegetables has a much lower risk of heart disease.

2. Diabetes

  • Several studies have shown that eating fried foods increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • People who eat fast food at least twice a week are twice as likely to develop insulin resistance. Compared to people who do not eat this type of food or do it once a week
  • Also, two extensive studies found a strong link between how often participants ate fried foods and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Those who ate 4-6 servings per week had a 39% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Compared to those who ate one or no fried food per week.
  • The percentage of risk for developing type 2 diabetes increased 55% when those people ate fried foods seven or more times a week, compared to people who ate less than one serving per week.

3. Obesity

  • As already mentioned, fried foods contain more calories than the same non-fried foods. Fried food eating them in excess is going to increase your calorie intake.
  • It should take into account that the trans fats present in fried foods are the cause of weight gain that sometimes gets out of control. These can affect hormones that are responsible for regulating appetite and fat storage.
  • The consumption of trans fats significantly increases abdominal fat. So the problem with obesity may be the type of fat you eat, rather than the amount.
  • Looked at the diets of 41,518 women over eight years found that increasing trans fat consumption by just 1% resulted in a weight gain of 1.2 pounds in normal-weight women.
  • Among overweight women, a 1% increase in trans fat consumption resulted in a weight gain of 2.3 pounds throughout the study.
  • Meanwhile, increased consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats not associated with weight gain.
  • Regardless of whether fried foods are high in calories or trans fat, several studies have shown a direct association between their consumption and obesity.

What are the Methods of Cooking Fried Foods?

If you are someone who likes fried foods, you can prepare them at home using healthier oils and alternative cooking methods.

Healthy Oils

healthy oils

The type of oils you use to fry food directly influences the associated health risks. Some of these oils can withstand higher temperatures, making them safer to cook.

Oils that primarily makeup of saturated and monounsaturated fats are the most stable when heated.

Oils such as olive, coconut and avocado make up the list of the most stable and healthy fats.

1. Olive Oil

  • It is an oil composed mainly of monounsaturated fats. It makes it more stable when preparing food at high temperatures.
  • One study revealed that olive oil could use for frying for up to 24 hours before a considerable amount of oxidation begins.

2. Coconut Oil

  • More than 90% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated. It makes it more resistant to heat.
  • Studies have revealed that after eight continuous hours of use in frying food, its quality remains stable.

3. Avocado Oil

  • It is of a composition similar to that of olive oil. It also has a very high resistance to heat, so it is also an excellent choice for frying food.
  • Keep in mind that using healthy oils can significantly reduce the risks associated with eating fried foods.

Unhealthy Oils

Cooking oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats are less stable. These pose a health risk as they produce acrylamide when exposed to high temperatures.

It is a list of them although there are many more:

  • Canola oil
  • Soy oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Grape seed oil

They have processed oils, and 4% of their fatty acid content are trans fats before frying.

Unfortunately, most of them are used in restaurants and fast food stalls since they are usually cheaper, but less healthy for health. Therefore it is recommended that you avoid these oils for frying and if possible, eliminate them from your diet.

Alternatives Cooking Method

fried foods

You can consider some alternative methods of cooking your food, these are:

1. The Baking

It involves baking the food at elevated temperatures, between 450 ° F or 232 ° C. It will allow food to cook with little or no oil.

2. Air Fry

You can also consider frying your food in a hot air fryer machine. In the process, scorching air circulates the fried food, ends up crispy on the outside and very soft on the inside, similar to usual fried food, but 70% or 80% less oil.


Eating foods fried in unhealthy and unstable oils pose a high risk to your health, and eating them usually increases your risk of developing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

So the idea is to avoid or eliminate the consumption of foods made in commercial positions.

Fortunately, you can make them at home using alternative cooking methods and healthier fats.

Also Read: 18 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Quickly and Naturally

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